Author: Louis Kraft & Robert S. Goodman MD
Genre: Legal Thriller
In THE DISCOVERY by Robert S. Goodman and Louis Kraft, a young obstetrician/gynecologist delivers a premature baby after attending a dinner party. The child survives the delivery, but complications lead to a malpractice lawsuit two decades later.
In 1952, a pregnant seventeen-year-old gives birth in a Los Angeles hospital. Two nurses attend to the young woman while they wait for the doctor on call to arrive for the delivery. Dr. Harry Chapman arrives at the hospital clearheaded but with alcohol on his breath. The premature baby is born blue and placed in an incubator. The nurses turn the oxygen to the level recommended to pediatricians for preemies the year before to prevent blindness. When the baby’s color doesn’t change, Harry instructs the nurses to turn the oxygen up to maximum. They protest, but Harry insists that the nurses comply to save the baby from brain damage or death.
In 1972, Greg Weston, a twenty-year-old paralegal meets a young woman who works with a renowned pediatrician. When she questions the attractive young man about his blindness, Greg reveals that his adoptive parents told him he was born blind. After agreeing to see the doctor Gail works for, Greg becomes aware that his blindness may have occurred as a result of physician error. Greg requests his medical records from the hospital and the adoption agency, and he finds that the hospital records tell a different story about what took place after his birth. In both records, Dr. Harry Chapman is indicated as the doctor who delivered him. Greg shares his findings with a partner in his law firm, and they build a case against Dr. Chapman based on fraudulent changes in the hospital records, which allows the statute of limitations to be thrown out.
After Harry receives word that he is being sued, his attorney advises him that the malpractice insurance he carried in 1952 will not cover even a fraction of the multimillion-dollar lawsuit. The stress and uncertainty of the case, along with the accusation of fraud, breaks Harry, leading him down a road of depression and alcohol dependence. As Harry’s wife, Helen, watches her husband deteriorate, she makes an unthinkable choice to put an end to the plaintiff’s case.
In THE DISCOVERY, the authors connect the lives of two individuals across two decades, exposing vulnerabilities, bitterness, and frailties. As the case moves forward, a key witness’s testimony alters the lives of both men.
In writing THE DISCOVERY, Goodman and Kraft’s intentions were to offer readers multidimensional characters with real-world problems and to bring awareness to the severe affect malpractice lawsuits can have on physicians’ professional and personal lives.
The Discovery is available at Amazon.Book Excerpt:
An hour later Martin pulled into Harry’s driveway and parked next to Sid’s car. Harry, who rode shotgun, swung the door open and ran to the front door, where he fumbled with his keys. Sid opened the door and waved him inside.
“You seem like a man in a rush,” Sid said.
“Only to those who peer out of windows!” Harry pushed past Sid and rushed into the living room. He didn’t see Helen and moved into the kitchen. No Helen. Harry ran to the family room, but it was empty. He looked at the bar.
“Thirsty?” Sid said from behind him.
Harry ignored the comment. “Where’s Helen?”
“In your bedroom.”
Harry crossed to the couch in front of the TV set and slumped into it.
Sid sat next to him. “From a man in a hurry, it appears that you’ve suddenly run out of gas.”
“Look, pal, I know a hell of a lot more than you do.”
“Really? You don’t say, Harry. Well, I’ve got news for you. You don’t know your ass from a hole in the ground!”
Harry glared at Sid, as he formed a fist.
Sid smirked. “Go ahead and swing away.”
“What’s going on here?” Harry said as he relaxed his hand.
“Don’t ask me; ask your wife.”
Surprised, Harry leaned back on the couch. “What are you talking about?”
“I sure as hell know!”
“Nope. You want to know, you talk to Helen.”
“She won’t talk to me.”
“Maybe she will.”
“I promised Helen that I wouldn’t repeat what she told me. To anyone.”
Harry had no idea what Sid spoke of and glared at him. “You know, sometimes you are a real pain in the ass.”
“And you’re a complete schmuck. Look Harry, you had better talk with her.” Harry didn’t move. “Now!”
Allen leaned into the room. “Is everything okay?”
“Yep,” Sid said, “couldn’t be better.”
“Then join us.”
“Soon.” He turned back to Harry. “For the last time Harry, get upstairs and talk to Helen.”
Harry stood but then glared at Sid.
“Harry, use your heart when you listen to her.”
“What are you talk—?” Suddenly frightened, Harry ran to the staircase and leaped up the steps two at a time. The door to their bedroom was closed. Harry opened it and stepped into the room. It was empty, but then the door to the bathroom opened and Helen appeared. Her hair was wet and dangled over her shoulders. She had an oversized towel wrapped around her body.
“What do you want?”